Our third day opened dry and sunny as we walked from
Dockland Scout Project the few blocks to the care hire location near the
South Quay DLR station in Docklands. The three Ford Galaxy minivans (a
Volkswagen, really, but who's looking?) were ready, and we headed back to
the Lord Amory to pick up the Scouts and start our first day on the road.
As this was my fifth trip to the UK, I was comfortable driving on the
left, but I think it was a bit of a shock for Tony and Mark in the two
Galaxies behind me. Thank goodness for the ham radios, or we'd have had
real problems coordinating our little convoy as we left
|A few hours later, we arrived at Stonehenge on the
Salisbury Plain. We picked up the audio wands and crossed under the
road to see the ancient stone circle.
||It seems like every time I visit Stonehenge, the wind
is blowing a gale across the plain over the dozens of prehistoric
burial mounds. It just adds to the atmosphere, I suppose. Does make
it a bit difficult to eat lunch when the bread from your sandwich
keeps flying away, though.
at left - Nick at Stonehenge
|From Stonehenge, we drove north and west into Wales.
As usual, I got us lost leaving the area, and this time we wound up
in Bath, before finding our way to the right road toward our next
stop - Caerphilly
Castle in South Wales.
Caerphilly is huge - 30 acres - and one of the most interesting
of castles. Not only are the walls in good shape and the moat has
been restored, but there's a display of siege engines in the
forecourt, to the delight of the Scouts (below).
Left, Nick, Dave and Rob with a mangonel - a catapult powered
by a twisted rope.
and Jimmy on the inner wall, looking toward the main gate.
||From Caerphilly, it was just a short hop south to
Penarth, on the outskirts of the Welsh capital, Cardiff. We got
lost, again, but eventually met up with our host Barry Angus, who
led us into Penarth and to the Scout District HQ.
at left: the group at the
Penarth District Scouts
Barry Angus, third from right
|Once we'd unloaded the cars, we walked a few blocks to
a chippie (fish and chip shop) to pick up dinner. The food was
great, and cheap - you got an entire fish of some kind or other (we
ate them out of most kinds, so it became pot luck), and a huge mound
of chips ("French Fries" to us Americans) covered in
curry, for only a few pounds.
||After dinner, while most of the Scouts played football
(soccer) in the field next to the HQ, Barry, Mark, Ed, George and I
went down to the Penarth waterfront for a walk. It's a quaint
Victorian area, along a seawall and beach, with an amusement pier
sticking out into the channel, and just what we needed to finish off
a perfect day.